Can you see yourself working abroad or using a foreign language at some point in your career? As the world becomes smaller and boundaries dissolve, such opportunities will be increasingly available for the next generation of scientists. If you enjoy languages, but your main interest lies with chemistry, then our Chemistry with a Modern Language, which has a 98% student satisfaction rating, programme might be for you.
You can currently choose to study one of five languages at Birmingham: French, German, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish. Three different three-year streams are available for students entering either as beginners, at GCSE standard, or at A-level standard.
Each year contains 120 credits of taught material, which is delivered in modules that are typically worth 10 or 20 credits.
In the first three years, you will take 60 credits of core chemistry courses, which cover the fundamental aspects of the subject. These courses include a significant practical component, which not only allows us to develop your practical skills and techniques in a range of experiments, but also to consolidate the theory you will have covered in associated lectures.
You will also take 20 credits of language modules in Years 1–3, which develop both communication skills and cultural awareness. These courses are delivered by staff based in the University’s Centre for Modern Languages.
The remaining 40 credits comprise modules designed to support these core courses and include optional chemistry modules, mathematics courses, laboratory modules, as well as courses which focus on communications skills and employability.
There is significant flexibility in your fourth and final year, as you choose 40 credits of taught modules from a range of courses pitched at the cutting edge of the discipline. A major research project makes up the remaining 80 credits. For many students, their final-year project is the most exciting and enjoyable part of their degree and often influences the career pathway they choose to follow after graduating.
This degree programme does not require you to spend time abroad. However should you wish to spend some time at a foreign university, for example to carry out a Summer research project, we can make enquiries on your behalf using the contacts, we have set up through our Chemistry with Study Abroad programme (F106).
In Year 1, you will take core modules in the traditional sub-disciplines of inorganic, organic, analytical and physical chemistry, all of which include an extensive laboratory work programme as well as 20 credits of your chosen modern language.
Those of you who have A-level maths at grade B or higher will choose from a range of non-chemistry option courses. Particularly popular options include ‘The Cosmic Connection,’ delivered by the School of Physics and Astronomy, and ‘Good brain – Bad brain,’ delivered by the Department of Pharmacology.
Those of you who do not have A-level maths – don’t worry! We provide an introductory maths course in Semester 1, which you take in place of the option course. This course will bring you up to speed with the common mathematical techniques needed for chemistry. In Semester 2, everyone comes together to take Numerical Methods. In this more advanced course, you will begin to apply your mathematical skills to chemical problems. Both maths courses have been designed and are delivered by staff from Chemistry, which ensures you are equipped with those skills you need to tackle the more physical and theoretical aspects of our courses.
Second year (contributes 20% to overall degree mark)
In Year 2, you will build on material from your first year as we employ a combination of lectures and practicals to further your understanding of the fundamental aspects of chemistry. In addition to core courses in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, you will continue to develop your language skills.
Third year (contributes 40% to overall degree mark)
In Year 3, core chemistry modules in inorganic, organic and physical chemistry are accompanied by advanced classes in your chosen modern language. An advanced laboratory course will also prepare you for the major research project that you will undertake in your fourth year.
Fourth year (contributes 40% to overall degree mark)
You will study just chemistry in this, your final, year during which, significant flexibility allows you to specialise in a particular sub-discipline should you wish. You will choose from a range of courses that reflect the state-of-the-art of the discipline, which not only allows us to showcase the cutting-edge research interests of the School but also ensures that you are aware of the latest challenges in this rapidly advancing subject.
In addition to 40 credits of taught chemistry modules, you will join one of the School’s research groups, and become a member of the Research School as you undertake a major research project (worth the remaining 80 credits). You will work closely with your project supervisor to tailor your project to your particular interests and ensure you develop those research skills that you feel will be most beneficial to you after completing your degree.
Generic skills-training, focusing on transferable skills and employability, is embedded throughout the course from the outset and will ensure that you are equipped with the ICT, presentation, team-working and problem-solving skills, which are seen as crucial by employers.
MSci or BSc? The first two years of this MSci course are interchangeable with, and identical to, our corresponding BSc programme (F1R9), which means you can delay your final choice of degree (MSci or BSc) until the end of Year 2. MSci study is dependent upon performance: you will need a 60% mark in Year 2 in order to remain on the MSci programme